Monday, December 8, 2014

Working in Pink

Two months before Christmas I told my daughter I'm not buying her a single toy because you know, Santa is coming. My daughter is very smart. She plopped Rebecca Danger's monster book that I won last year from Knit Picks in front of me reminding me with much sweetness that she had been wanting a monster for some time now.

So she picked Irving. I did some stash diving for some old Icelandic Lopi:

The monster's new name is I-vring!

Pink has been on my mind because I'm working with a pink skein for a headband design for daughter. I hope to have that done soon if I can ever make up my mind on a closure for it.

I've also made some progress on my knit-in-between sock which I'll post soon.

Knitter note: Thank you to all the knitters who are knitting my patterns in this year's Gift-A-Long on Ravelry. It's a joy to see all the lovely projects!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gift-A-Long 2014 Designer Interview with Karen Dawn

Part of the fun of the Gift-A-Long is that designers are matched with other designers to interview on their blogs. I think it's a gift to me to get to know another designer a little better!

Today Karen Dawn put her needles down long enough to answer a few questions.

Q. What does your design process look like? Do you start with the yarn or the idea?

Lots and lots of graph paper, pencils (regular and colored), and erasers. I usually start with stitch pattern ideas and draw lots of charts for how to combine various designs. Then I do some swatching, where I try out different yarns (if I haven’t already decided on one in particular). I’m learning that this swatching is a great use for all those leftovers bits of yarn from various other projects! Then I draw up a rough chart/pattern and make the sample, taking notes as I go in case I made any changes or discover something different from my original plan as I go.
Q. What is your favorite design so far?
Each new design seems to be my current favorite, but my geek heart does love the Don’t Blink Illusion Scarf. That one took lots of planning (I don’t even know how many times I charted out the
various letters on graph paper!) but I’m thrilled with how it turned out--and even more so to have found a weeping angel statue to use for a photo shoot. (By the way, a matching illusion hat is currently in test knitting.)
Q. Is there a knitting technique that you haven’t tried yet that you would like to explore?
I’ve been a pretty adventurous knitter, trying out different techniques when I see patterns that I want to knit which have a technique I haven’t done before. But I think I’d like to do more with double knitting. I’ve done it a bit already but haven’t finished a project using it and definitely would need to brush up on the technique before trying it again as it’s been a couple of years since I tried it. I’d also love to try the technique where you knit two socks at once, one inside the other (which I think is related to double knitting).
Q. What’s your favorite yarn you’ve ever used?
Favorite I’ve ever used? That’s a tough one. Malabrigo Worsted has a special place in my heart (it was my first non-acrylic yarn) and I still use it frequently. And I love anything madelinetosh. But I think if I had to pick a favorite yarn I’ve ever used so far it would be the JulieSpins Juno (merino/silk) that I used to make a beret (which I then gave to a friend because I just don’t look right in a beret).
Q. What’s the one thing you wish you were knitting right now?
A sweater or cardigan for myself out of some madelinetosh tosh dk in tart that I’ve had in my stash since 2009. That yarn is way too pretty to be sitting around for that long!


Well that's all the questions I have right now. Thanks so much Karen!

I hope everybody is enjoying the Gift-A-Long. The 25% off pattern sale goes through Nov. 21 but the knitting, games, and prizes continues on Ravelry here until the year ends!

See you there.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Calling All Knitters: Gift-A-Long 2014 has begun!

The time has arrived for the second annual Gift-A-Long on Ravelry. It’s even bigger than last year!

To give you a better idea of what it’s about here is an infographic created by a statistical genius:

The sale period is short, Nov 13th at 8pm EST until midnight Nov 21, but the Gift-A-Long party continues until Dec. 31 where you knit or crochet participating designers' patterns and post pictures for love and prizes! There are also games and more prizes. Buckets and buckets of pattern prizes!

I'll be following the chat on the boards and posting an interview of one of the designers. Hope to see you there. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Artist Moment: Free book for a day

Popping in to remind you that you can download, Princess Marta's Garden: The White Rose, to your Kindle or Amazon Cloud Reader for free today only, in memory of Mary Parker. Today was her birthday.

Monday, November 3, 2014


Excuse me. I need to post an image. This is prep work only.

{FYI for Ravelers: The GAL sale starts Nov 13th at 8pm and runs until midnight Nov 21!}

Friday, October 31, 2014

Artist Moment: A Tribute

Ever since I started this blog there is one feature that has amused me. On the lower right column you'll see the top five posts read. As much as I keep blathering on about knitting and writing, this post about the castles continues to keep a spot on the list. I don't know why people keep coming back to it. It can't be what I wrote. It must be the eye candy. That makes me very happy.

This post is hard for me to write and I have let some time pass so I could compose it.

Mary F. Parker, who was very dear to me and a lot of people, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones.

She was born into a more genteel society where the expectations of women were different from today. She was a mother, an artist, a good friend and an intensely private person. I miss her deeply.

I am grateful for our collaboration together. Since it is Halloween, I thought I would share the pictures that appeared for "Scaredy Bat" on Weeonesmag years ago.

Copyright @ Mary F. Parker

Copyright @ Mary F. Parker

Copyright @ Mary F. Parker

I am pleased to say that her legacy continues as we signed a contract in late summer to use her work with my story "Ghosts In the Night." The story will appear in a digital library hopefully next spring. I will of course blog details when the time comes.

As a final tribute, on November 12th which was her birthday (a lady never tells her age), The White Rose will be offered free for the day on Amazon.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Midnight Suns Fingerless Mitts Pattern Release

A few years ago, I designed my first hat. I wore that hat a lot but something was missing, matching mitts!

Midnight Suns Fingerless Mitts -knit in Knit Picks Capra

I finally have my set.

Since I had knit my husband a hat, he also needed some mitts so the pattern has two basic sizes and is easy to lengthen to your needs. (For bigger mitts you may want another skein of the main color. When I knit the larger black pair for him, I ran the skein all the way out to the absolute end.)

As a thank you to the knitters that bought my hat pattern years ago and because I like people to have a set, I'm running a special on Ravelry until November 10, 2014:

If you create a project on Ravelry and post a picture of a finished Midnight Suns hat or mitt, I'll give you the matching companion pattern for free.  

Have fun everybody and enjoy the knit!